3 Postdoc and 3 PhD positions in contemporary history (Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History)

Ort
Esch-Belval
Institution
University of Luxembourg
Datum
01.10.2019
Von
Stefan Krebs

The University of Luxembourg invites applications for the following vacancies in its Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH)

3 Postdoc and 3 PhD positions in the field of contemporary history (M/F)

• Start date 1 October 2019

The research project “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age: Sounds, Images, Ecologies, Practices and Materialities in Space and Time” will investigate the contemporary history of Luxembourg’s south, the so-called Minette region. It will be a sustainable contribution to the program of the European Capital of Culture Esch-sur-Alzette 2022. Six sub-projects will study the history of cultures, populations and territories of the Esch 2022 region from different perspectives and angles. They will trace back flows and circulations of ideas, people and goods between Luxembourg, France, and other European countries. Results will be disseminated to an international scientific public, and, most importantly, aim at engaging a broad public through different public history means and digital storytelling.

The 3 postdoctoral researchers and 3 PhD students will work in different work packages under supervision of several members of C²DH. Principal investigator is Stefan Krebs.

All positions will be located at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), which is one of the three Interdisciplinary Centres of Luxembourg University. The C²DH is a research centre for the study, analysis and public dissemination of contemporary history of Luxembourg and Europe with a particular focus on digital methods and tools for doing innovative historical research. It serves as a catalyst for innovative and creative scholarship and new forms of public dissemination and societal engagement with history.

Work packages

WP 2 “The Pasts and the Futures of Industrial Territories: Transitions, Ruptures and Recovery”

• Postdoc, 24 months, supervisor Karin Priem

Since the end of the nineteenth century, industrialization and urbanization have not only caused deep concerns and anxieties, but also fascination. This is also true for Luxembourg. Starting in the 1880s, the young nation underwent a rapid and massive industrialization process driven by its booming mining and metallurgical industry. While the shaping of the industrial past has been subject to extensive research, this project will primarily look at the transformations that happened during the so-called successive decline of the steel industry in Luxembourg during the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The project will draw on rich photography holdings in different Luxembourgish archives.

WP 3 “Eat, Hear, Smell, Wear and Repair it: A Generational Perspective on Commodities and (Sustainable) Consumption as Means of Connecting Cultures”

• Postdoc, 24 months, supervisor Stefan Krebs

The project will describe the role of consumption in the formation and development of local, regional, and national identities. In addition, it will scrutinize the impact of migrant communities on consumption patterns and cultures. The project also looks at the downside of the so-called “democratisation” of consumption, e.g. the increasing ecological impact of mass consumption (and production). The ecological movement of the 1960s started to criticise the growing ecological footprint of mass consumption, and this critique gained wider societal attention in the 1970s. As results, more sustainable consumption practices and better consumer protection were discussed. At the same time, the economic engine of mass consumption in Luxembourg, i.e. the iron and steel industry, started to stutter. The following transition into a service society also questioned traditional consumption cultures, and let to the emergence of new post-industrial life styles and consumer identities, which are at the heart of this study.

WP 4 “Underground Histories: Smugglers, Refugees, and Miners”

• PhD candidate, student and employee status (48 months studies programme), 14 months fixed-term contract, renewable up to 4 years, full-time (40h/week), supervisor Christoph Brüll

The geographical situation of Esch-sur-Alzette as a border region has created, throughout the 19th and 20th century, a space for smugglers and refugees. The project will be a microhistorical study of smuggling ideas, goods, and persons especially during war and crisis. It will focus on economic smuggling, but also on iron miners as actors of smuggling – be it by getting political tracts across the Luxembourgish-French border, by supplying illegal workers hidden in the woods near Esch – and finally on refugees using the border region as a resource for protection. Following recent trends in the microhistory of crossborder smuggling, the analytical perspective of the project will make use of Alf Lüdtke’s concept of Eigen-Sinn. This implies a mix of historical and anthropological methods. This approach guarantees an insertion in current research strands on a European level.

WP 6 “Shifting Cultures and Populations: Immigration and Emigration”

• PhD candidate, student and employee status (48 months studies programme), 14 months fixed-term contract, renewable up to 4 years, full-time (40h/week), supervisor Denis Scuto

Since the end of the 19th century, the southern Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as well as the neighbouring border provinces of Luxembourg (Belgium), Lorraine and Sarre underwent profound transformations intimately linked to the evolution from a mainly rural to an industrial and tertiary universe. These developments were made possible by the quantitative and qualitative contribution of national and foreign populations, which brought their competencies, their know-how, their lifestyles and their cultures. The study will deal with sources insufficiently exploited so far: population censuses, professional and industrial censuses, archives of fiches d’arrivée from the Luxembourg southern cities, foreign police files, ARBED archives. The methodological approach allows the follow-up of a large number of individuals thanks to the treatment by digital methods of a large range of data coming from nominative sources. Thus, the notions of transnational circulatory territories or social cohesion should be more precisely defined. The study of the migrant’s itineraries through the various documents analyses family and generational filiations in order to compare the professional profile of children and parents. The aim is to better understand and outline the broad trends of the socio-economic and political evolutions, the individual and collective strategies, the generational links, the relations between social groups, the construction of identities and intercultural relations and the societal challenges in the former industrial south of Luxembourg today.

WP 7 “Reconstructing Streets of Esch: Micro-History of a Living and Lived Space”

• PhD candidate, student and employee status (48 months studies programme), 14 months fixed-term contract, renewable up to 4 years, full-time (40h/week), supervisor Denis Scuto

The urban and architectural landscape of Esch-sur-Alzette has not only been shaped by prominent names, such as Joseph Stübben, Gottfried Böhm, Peter Rice or Violet le Duc. The urban story of Esch-sur-Alzette tells a European story of the transformation of rural spaces in industrial towns by human work and population movements, and their multiple heritages today, comparable to regions like Ruhr, Lorraine, Nord Pas de Calais, Borinage. This study aims to reconstruct, by combining sociohistorical research with oral history and digital tools, the evolution of typical streets of Esch-sur-Alzette as historic urban and social environments from 19th to 21st century: rue de l’Alzette as main commercial street; rue Jean-Pierre Bausch and rue des Mines as streets of a worker’s district, rue Emile Mayrisch as street of a bourgeois district, rue de Luxembourg as a street with a socially mixed population. It is inspired by the pioneering studies of John Foot on a micro-history of one apartment block in the inner-suburb of Bovisa, Milan, over a period of 100 years. Moreover, the study continues previous research work done by Denis Scuto on the history of the “Casa dei Romagnoli” in immigrant worker’s district Hoehl in Esch-sur-Alzette. The project will draw on a wide range of documents, partly already digitised: population census, professional and industrial censuses, archives of the bureau de la population from Esch, archives of the Biens communaux office, alien policy files, private documents, photos, maps etc. The project will also represent the first step to a web-accessible interactive historical map of Esch-sur-Alzette.

WP 8 “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age”

• Postdoc, 36 months, supervisor Andreas Fickers

This sub-project aims at creating synergies between the six historical research strands of “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age: Sounds, Images, Ecologies, Practices and Materialities in Space and Time”. The post-doc will work under the overarching topic of “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age” and develop an integral historiographical perspective for the project. In addition, s/he will coordinate the integration and deployment of digital history tools and methods in the different research strands. The main tasks of the post-doc will be to conceptualise, organise and realise the temporary history lab for crowd sourcing and digitisation of historical sources, the virtual exhibition “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age” and the mobile App “Discovering the Industrial Past of Esch 2022” in close cooperation with all project members.

----

For further information please contact: stefan.krebs@uni.lu

For more information about C²DH, please visit: https://www.C2DH.uni.lu

Profile PhD candidates

• Master in contemporary history or related field
• Good command of the following languages: English, French and/or German

Activities PhD candidates

• Write a thesis on work package topic
• Contribute to the virtual exhibition “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age” and mobile app “Discovering the Industrial Past of Esch 2022”

Profile Postdoctoral researchers

• PhD in contemporary history or related field
• Good command of the following languages: English, French and/or German

Activities Postdoctoral researchers

• Write peer-reviewed article(s) for an international journal on work package topic
• Contribute to the virtual exhibition “Remixing Industrial Pasts in the Digital Age” and mobile app “Discovering the Industrial Past of Esch 2022”

Offer

• An interesting position within an international research centre;
• Dynamic and multicultural research environment;
• Personal work space at the University

Candidates should submit the following documents:

• Motivation letter
• Curriculum vitae
• Copies of diplomas
• List of publications (if applicable)

Please send your application to stefan.krebs@uni.lu

All positions will be advertised until filled.

The University of Luxembourg is an equal opportunity employer.

Kontakt

Stefan Krebs
Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History
Maison des Sciences Humaines
Porte des Sciences 11, L-4366 Esch-Belval

stefan.krebs@uni.lu

Zitation
3 Postdoc and 3 PhD positions in contemporary history (Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History), 01.10.2019 Esch-Belval, in: H-Soz-Kult, 17.07.2019, <www.hsozkult.de/job/id/stellen-18868>.